Shopping around can sometimes be a pain. Other times, it can be inherently, overtly exciting. Inevitably, the longer it takes, the less likely you’re going to find excitement in your customer, the less likely they’re going to be engaged and interested in what you say, put off by an underlying desire to simply go home. Whilst you, of course, cannot change the amount of ‘shopping around’ a customer may have done, you can ensure that they never forget you, or your company simply by reaching them on a different level to all your competitors. How is this possible? Simple. Put down the spec sheet, and make like a window. Transparency.
The techniques employed by many in years gone by involve adopting a kind of ‘consultative’ role when it comes to communicating with the customer. As an expert, customers may present their business problems unto the salesman, and he will reel off lists of reasons why one particular product will solve those problems. Useful information, presented in a polite and efficient manner. Lovely, but not a sale.
Building relationships through magnetic marketing
The salesman might as well have been a computer. Computers give useful information, and as far as efficiency goes, they’ve been topping humans for several years now; what’s important to remember is that the customer isn’t really looking for a reason why they should buy that product, despite what they might think – if it’s the right product, they’ll want it anyway – they want to know why they should buy it from you. Think of it like you’re trying to outdo a computer.
So, how do we do that?
We appeal to the customer in the one way a machine simply could not. Nobody’s asking you to throw a parade for the customer every time they glance sideways at the entrance to your store. Nor are they asking that you pile on the discounts, abolishing profit and getting everybody nowhere. No, the key here is quite simply, to build a relationship.
Connecting with the customer on an emotional level will charge your conversations with vigour and positive reinforcement, and this is where transparency is important. You won’t connect emotionally if you can’t come across as a genuine person, and you won’t come across as a genuine person if you’re hiding behind a sheet of specs and a script. As such, you must have real, honest conversations with the customer, disseminate yourself to the people around you and suddenly you’ll find customers believe IN you.
A transparent belief in the product and the company, explained to customers by way of genuine, relationship-building conversation will ultimately trump a cold yet logistical and functional approach. You’re giving your customer emotional involvement in the sale, evoking a peace of mind when they buy from you and essentially giving them the reason to buy from your company instead of your middle of the road, cold and clinical competitors.
Simply being professional and courteous is no longer enough. The modern buyer, connected via social media, aware and informed, is no longer susceptible to the bygone techniques and a disengaged approach – you must build relationships on an emotional level with your customer.
This post was written by Sean McPheat, MD at MTD Sales Training. For all the latest, most up to date knowledge, information and techniques on how to sell to the modern buyer, call MTD Sales Training today!